Patrick wants to give back to his community. You can help him make this happen.
When Patrick Sakira’s parents passed away, his Grandmother stepped in to bring him up. He himself had always liked children and dreamed of being a teacher. He was fortunate to be sponsored through school by PCLC Africa, and completed his O levels, narrowly missing on one credit for an A level. Under the sponsorship of an American couple, he began teachers’ college in Arusha, but 18 months later, just a few months short of graduation, his dream came to an abrupt halt.
His sponsors wrote to say that they had had a falling out with their church and would no longer sponsor him.
“I felt I was so close to my dream, but it ended,” he said. “It was my ambition to be a teacher but my dream was gone.”
“I was in the dark, I just stayed at home, and worried about everything and became very stressed. It was a dark time.”
Then Patrick found Lengo.
“When I joined Lengo my life changed,” he said. “My grandma has done whatever she can for me, but Lengo is like a mother and father to me, providing friends and support with everything.”
Today Patrick is happier, but life is still tough. He works 8 hours a day making bricks. He is paid AUD$11 a week, out of which he pays for electricity, water and rent on a room he shares with four other young men, and tries to help his grandmother. He gives her what he can to buy fruit, which she sells in the market.
His routine each day is to wake early, make his modest bed, and get to work.
“We don’t tend to have three meals a day in our country, there’s no such thing. But we try to have one proper meal a day, like chapattis or beans.”
He is aged 24, and feels he has lost a few years, and tears form in his eyes when he says he still dreams of being a teacher.
Tanzania as a country is in a period of economic reform, but jobs are virtually non-existent, especially outside the major cities. In Arusha, even the competition to carry shoppers’ bags from the market for a few coins is intense. The community tends to look out for its people, so that even orphans get a space on the floor of a crowded room in a basic hut, but without income, even one basic meal a day is not a given.
Teachers are guaranteed a job, as there is a shortage of teachers in Tanzania. Patrick would be very happy to study again so that he can be independent and help others, but he needs to find a sponsor. He would have to serve an internship in a rural location, but afterwards would like to return to Arusha to help his community.
Patrick, who is a gifted footballer and a key player in midfield for Lengo’s first team, said: “I’d like to combine teaching and [football] coaching. Teaching is a way to give back and help other kids to find their way.”
You can invest in Patrick's future today by making a contribution to the cost of his teacher's training which starts in August. Your tax deductible gift will not only change Patrick's life but ensure a passionate and driven young leader is able to positively impact the lives of hundreds of children living and studying in Arusha for years to come.
Photography: Kailey Gramberg from Tazama Africa Tours and Safari